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Police Increase Security In Boystown, Lakeview Following Orlando Shooting

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 13, 2016 4:56PM

Getty Images; Photo: Scott Olson

The Chicago Police Department has intensified security in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 49 clubgoers, plus the shooter, at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse. Hours after the shooting, Santa Monica police arrested a heavily armed Indiana man, reportedly on his way to the LA PRIDE parade.

In response, Chicago First Deputy Superintendent John Escalante ordered a "stepped-up police presence beginning Sunday," according to a statement from CPD's Director of Communications Anthony Guglielmi. The added resources are centered in the 19th District, which includes Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Boystown. But the increase was not isolated to those neighborhoods; police presence has also been bolstered at various special events and near the lakefront.

"Officers will also pay special attention to CTA transportation hubs and be conducting increased traffic and safety enforcement downtown and on heavily traveled areas," according to the statement.

The police department has not received credible intelligence of threats against the Chicago LGBTQ community or any event within the city. “These measures are being done out of an abundance of caution,” the statement says.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel pledged the Pride Parade would go on as planned. "This horrendous violence will only deepen our resolve to continue building a society that values everyone, regardless of who they love,” Emanuel said in a statement Sunday night. “The thoughts and prayers of Chicago will remain with the victims of this attack as they seek comfort and courage in the days ahead."

Since the attacks, the Chicago LGBTQ community and supporters have voiced solidarity and organized vigils in honor of the victims.

Chicagoist has reached out to the Chicago Police Department about long-term specifics of the increased patrols and will update as more information is available.

Update 1:20pm: CPD vowed to continue monitoring the situation, but declined to expand on how it will dispatch added patrols over the coming weeks. "Please note that we cannot elaborate any further on any specific details regarding our operational deployment strategies and plans," the Department said in a statement. "However, the Chicago Police Department will continue to pay close attention to special events throughout the city and will assign the necessary resources to ensure the safety of Chicago's communities along with that of their residents and visitors."